Barkat Asks for U.S. Sanctions on Turkey

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Likud Knesset Member Nir Barkat, a former mayor of Yerushalayim, speaking in the Knesset plenum. (Hadas Parush/Flash90/File)

Nir Barkat, former mayor of Yerushalayim, has asked the U.S. to launch sanctions against Turkey following disclosure that Ankara is providing a safe haven for Hamas to attack Israel.

“Once again, we have confirmation for the fact that Turkey supports terror and provides a warm home for Hamas and anyone who wants to harm Israel,” Barkat, now a Likud MK, said on Tuesday.

“It is not the first time that I have heard about a [terror] cell like this, but this time we understand that the Turks were actually helping them.”

Barkat, along with former Israeli police chief Roni Alsheich and former Likud Mk Yehuda Glick, were targeted for assassination, according to the British Daily Telegraph.

The detailed report was based on Israeli police sources, citing recent interrogations of terror suspects which revealed that Hamas operations in Yerushalayim and Yehuda and Shomron are being directed from Istanbul, with the assent of Turkish authorities.

In one case, a Hamas official offered to pay $20,000 to the family of any would-be suicide bomber, according to the report.

Barkat contacted U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to convey his message that “the U.S. must lead in enacting tough international sanctions that will effectively punish the Turkish regime for their clear defense of terror,” according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly welcomed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh over the weekend in a meeting closed to the press where he promised to continue to support “our brothers in Palestine.”

The report added that Israel has warned Turkey numerous times that Hamas terrorists are operating from its territory, but to no avail, although in 2015 Ankara said it would put a stop to it.